PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Page Valley News will be publishing profiles of local candidates in contested races for this fall’s elections over the next few weeks. PVN will begin with the Luray Council race, where five candidates will compete for three seats; then the race for Mayor of Luray, with two candidates; and the chairman of the Page County School Board, with two candidates. All profiles will be published in alphabetical order at 9 a.m. Mondays and 3 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Thursday, June 25.
• Age: 59
• Education: University of Utah, Salt Lake City – Bachelor of Science, Health and Human Kinetics, Minor in Marketing, 1982; George Washington University, Washington DC – Certified Sun Solaris UNIX systems administrator/Shell Programming, TCP/IP, C and C++ programming, 1999.
• Work: Owner/operator, Darryl Haley B&B, 2001-present; Director of Music at the Monument, nonprofit organization, 2014-present; Programming/consulting, independent business consulting, 2004-present; D.C. Child, Youth Investment Trust, Director of Team-Up DC, 2014-2015; Howard University, Director of Strength and Conditioning, 2009-2011; Modern Technology Systems Inc, Business Development and Strategic Planning, 1996-2001; World Triathlon Corporation, spokesperson and Ironman Triathlon participant, 1994-present; Norrell Services, Community Relations, Alliance Development Specialist, 1991-1996; Corporate and personal fitness trainer, Wellness and Fitness Program Design, 1984-2006; National Capital YMCA, program coordinator and personal coaching, 1991-1992; New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, professional football player in the NFL, 1981-1990.
• Community: National Park Conservation Association Council Member; Healthy Parks, Healthy People Organizer; Images of Fatherhood Honoree, Washington Urban League; Choral Arts Society Board Member; 1995 Gatorade Ironman Triathlon participant and finisher; Capitol Cup Classic Planning Board Member and Committee Chairman; Developed and implemented National Athlete Summer Employment Program for Norrell Staffing Services and George Washington University Athletic Department; Prince George’s County/District of Columbia Minority Business Salute; Official spokesperson to the United Way for the New England Patriots; Official spokesperson for the World Triathlon Corporation; St. John’s Community Services Board Member; Doctors Community Hospital Board Member, Community Relation Committee.
• Family: Wife, Judy Xanthopoulos, PhD.
• Why are you running for public office?
I have been involved in many community efforts (e.g., schools and law enforcement) and served on several local boards serving the business community and law enforcement. I believe that with the right energy and leadership, we can harness the valuable resources and talents that Luray has to offer, creating beneficial advancement for our entire community.
• What makes you the best candidate?
My energy, positive outlook, and ability to cross borders and unite people makes me the best candidate. Given my mindset from professional sports, I approach most tasks as a “team sport.” This means that you (1) assess the qualities and skills of the team; (2) place each team member in the position where they will excel; (3) encourage and cultivate unrealized skills and talents; and (4) assess the opposition to overcome the challenges. I do want to take that competitor/warrior spirit to bear on this challenge.
• What is Luray’s most pressing issue?
The most pressing issue facing Luray is communication. Everyone needs to have the opportunity for a voice or role in Luray’s future. Bringing everyone to the table (town hall meetings), creating dialogue between unlikely allies, and moving the talk to action (volunteer and otherwise) will address this. Being heard and respected will encourage our citizens to get engaged and make a contribution.
• What is one thing that you would like to change or improve about Luray?
I am very happy with Luray, I would like to create a sense of excitement, pride, and opportunity. With these three traits, we can tackle the many challenges facing society as a whole.
• Briefly describe a decision you have made in a leadership role and tell why you made that decision.
I became aware of the music therapy program for treating our veterans with PTSD, while working with the Veterans Administration Hospital. I had also been working with diversity and inclusion for the National Park Service (Veterans, minorities, youth). After many meetings and discussions, I started a nonprofit organization, Music at the Monument, which coupled these two efforts into a single program. I successfully have held (COVID-19 notwithstanding) free concerts in National Parks and Monuments for the past six seasons.
These concert bring together many government agencies and service organizations to provide education, re-integration, employment and housing for our veteran and family members. In addition, I created Salsa on the Mall, bringing cultural diversity and inclusion for many Latin and Hispanic cultures to the National Mall. I decided to do so, because I believed that action, not endless meetings, is what makes the difference.